Tag Archives: MindaNOW

It was Independence Day! And yes, we spent the Independence Day in this amazing place of South Cotabato! We were welcomed by the Great King Sun! Such a sign that he's with us on this trip! 
My curiosity for this place started when I joined a trivia quiz and the answer of the tourist spot, which I unfortunately haven't visited and heard yet is this! Since then I can't get my mind out of it. Until one of my colleagues in the office offered a trip going to this place! What should I do? Of course, by all means, join the trip! Hence, I've made it here! 

Below is a photo of the unperturbed beauty amidst the advent of technology and globalization. This place has remained seemingly undisturbed by the noise and haste of the cities and neighboring places. Look at the photo below. The stillness is a bliss!

The #BukidLife we have here, it's not the typical vacation where you'll be welcomed by gold-plated staircases but you'll be welcomed by the homy, primitive set up and ambiance of the hotels or inns. The hotel/resort that we booked in happens to enjoy and wishes to maintain to be so, being a good old resort home away from home!
So here's our room, sorry, my room, they are just invaders! haha Enjoy my room guys! LOL!
And adding some drama to the photo op is Chef F. C. My room overlooking the lake's view!
And what would come to your mind? Just anything, look at this man below! haha
And without anyone, this is my window's view. πŸ™‚
The room in a peaceful and calm state. T'was a great room. Good for two, but I was occupying this alone! Such an amazing thing. haha I love to be alone. 
As soon as we arrived in the place, we asked about the activities that we can do. And we were told that we can have the tour around the lake. Yes, you are not mistaken, we are in LAKE SEBU! So, we asked that we be ushered to the place where we can have the lake tour, and our hotel fortunately was able to accommodate our need. We were taken to the resort where we need to pay for the lake tour. 
On our way there, we happen to manage a selfie, or wefie!
Below is a photo of us on board the vessel for the lake tour! The tour offers you a fun site-seeing and be entertained by the tour guide's historical and educational lectures, while also performing for your consumption.


I have the privilege to have taken footage of the dances performed by the native T'boli in the area.
First dance is TRUE Dance watch video here.
Next dance is Seductive Dance watch video here. Starring our very own colleague Ms. R. C. L.
Here's another Seductive Dance by the Princess herself. Princess Hannah!
Sharing here our video as we started the lake tour.
Included in the lake tour package is the food (lunch). Since their pride is the Tilapia, they are serving these, Tilapia Curry and Fried Tilapia. The specialty viand of Lake Sebu!


We were blesed to have been joined by locals dressed in their traditional T'boli attire. πŸ™‚

The tour wouldn't be complete without myself having a photo taken with the Princess of the Tribe herself. 

After our Lake Sebu tour, we went back to the hotel, for a few minutes, or an hour of rest. Then we set the next trip will be towards the 7 falls! 
On our way to the 7 falls, I can't help but click again. Look at this raw, unedited, unfiltered view!

It's where you'll see another majestic water falls in the Philippines. There's literally 7 falls. One of the highlights would be the Zipline, highest in Asia, and of course, the steps going up through a stairway (we didn't do this one). So, for the 7 falls, we grabbed the opportunity to have the adventure captured and pasted on a mug, that which would remind us of the adventure every time we drink our coffee in the morning!
And we were lucky enough to have joined the adventure of the renowned #ElGammaPenumbra of Asia's Got Talent! hello there EGP!

After the adventure, we went to a floating restaurant in Lake Sebu! Thanks to our driver/tour guide! They took us to this amazing place, where we had our dinner! To dine floating over the lake! How about that? Living the time or our life! πŸ™‚

It's me pulling the rope to fetch my colleagues and bring them to the floating restaurant!

Yep, you guessed it right! It's yours truly, haha #feelingpro
How about a glimpse from atop Lake Sebu? 
The next day, we set our trip back home! But as we've discussed, we decided to might as well, go to General Santos! Haha But wait, we can have a stop at Surallah! Have you heard of it? It's just around 15 minutes from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato!




After the joyride and short stop at Surralah, we proceeded to Denmark Terminal for our trip to General Santos. And this unique and misleading address of the terminal is fun to take a jumpshot selfie! So here it is! πŸ™‚ #doroexplorero's Signature Jumpshot!
In General Santos, we only managed to visit SM General Santos, and well visit Starbucks, but wait! I made another Jump Shot too!



After our short stop at General Santos, we headed to Davao City, yes, the peaceful city of Davao! We craved for Durian, so we couldn't let the opportunity pass. We need to have some Durian for ourselves. They say it here, DAVAO LIFE IS HERE!
We actually devoured one 4 kilo Durian for our craving's satisfaction. The opened Durian's video is here.
We also had to stop at one of Davao's uniquely located Restaurant Jack's Ridge! πŸ™‚
We had our dinner in Jack's Ridge! Well, this was a dinner date I suppose, I was just a joiner! Intruder. Chaperone. πŸ™‚ I have video of why this dinner is romantic! πŸ™‚ Watch it here.
Panoramic view of Davao City
And that is our way of capping off our Lake Sebu-Surallah-GenSan-Davao Trip! What an Independence Day! Another way to enjoy Mindanao. Choosing #MindaNOW!
As we head back home, this view of sea of clouds did not escape my sight. This was captured while on board a bus, going back home, this was taken with my iPhone somewhere in higher places in Bukidnon while the bus is speeding up towards CDO! #NinjaMoves #doroexplorero
Why LAKE SEBU? Aside from the curiosity that mainly drove me to take this trip, I also want to see for myself (although risky), whether it's really dangerous in this part of Mindanao, and I have proven for myself that it's okay to travel towards this part of the country. We've never encountered any dangerous incident, no threat, no bombings, no nothing, simply and purely leisure travel! I hope this opens the mind of the tourists. There's just so much the Mindanao has to offer! Choose Mindanao, MindaNOW!
#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #doroadventures #laagAsia #laagPinas #suroyWorld 

While people across the globe or even the country hear stories about Mindanao, most of them not-so-good and not-so-safe! I chose to travel! Chosen to travel, and will choose to travel! Mindanao has been underrated for so long, and it's time to wake up to its beauty! This post may not comprehensively show what Mindanao is and have, but at least it gives you an idea, how fantastic it is here in the land of promise!

Why do I travel? "I travel because I want to make memories all over the world."

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. To travel is indeed to live!

For all the weekends of April and May last summer, I've been traveling from one place to another. Some of my travels have already been posted:
  1. I went home to Camiguin Island and I wrote something about it here.
  2. I went to my other home Tandag, Surigao del Sur! Visited my Sister who came home from Canada!
  3. I went to visit my sister in Dipolog City and wrote something about it here.
  4. I also went to Davao's Samal Island  and shared my visit here.
  5. I also traveled to Cebu and shared about our Canyoneering here and other activities here.
  6. I was also able to visit Sagada and posted something about it here.
  7. Then finally I capped 'em off with my Surigao del Sur Summer Escapade of which I will be writing about now.
So June has come. April and May (the summer months) have officially ended. And I am glad to have spent it in Surigao. This has been a long overdue post, super late post, but might as well post it. Better late than never as they say. πŸ™‚
It wasn't my first time to visit Surigao. My Dad is from Surigao so I've been there for couple of times, however, it's my first time to visit Enchanted River. It was the main reason why I joined the travel. Enchanted has been on my list for quite some time, and I felt the need to strike it off the "to visit" list. So thank God for my friend and colleague Chef FC who invited me to join his "just started" summer! haha Ironically, he's just started his escapades because he has been caught up with a lot of things back in April and May. When he told me Enchanted is on the itinerary, I didn't blink an eye or have second thoughts, I said "yes" immediately!
The travel started on the night of May 29th. The assembly time was 10:30 P.M. and time of departure to Surigao is 11:00 P.M. I arrived at the assembly area at around 10:30 P.M. people are already there. That's when I realized, we are not going to travel in 3s or 5s. We are going to have several vans full of people. Full of travelers. Full of humans wanting to have their getaway! 
Our first stop was the famous #EnchantedRiver of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur!

Here's a video of Enchanted River's fish feeding!

We had our breakfast and proceeded to go caving! On the way to Sarsoza Punta Cave we stopped by Sibadan.

After couple of minutes, we headed to the destination!  Sarsoza Ponta Cave!

The caving photos may look like we had fun, we did but there are things I want to highlight.

  1. There is scarcity of tour guide? We lost couple of minutes waiting for the cave's tour guide. 
  2. Very poor tour guiding service. No stories, no pick up lines, no nothing. Just plain and simple guide where you should go, where to put your feet first, and where next. It appears that the tour guide are not really trained for basic tour guiding.
  3. They said, they wanted safety for all those who would enter and do the "caving" but when my friend asked if the guide had any "first-aid kit" he boldly answered "nah, wala raba", meaning he doesn't have one.
  4. Head gears are not required, so you expose yourself to risk when you go inside without a gear. Although there are head gears/helmet available for hire at the entrance.
  5. Since the cave is occupied by bats as you can see in the photos above, you'd have to expect that it's gonna smell, or you're gonna smell when you go out.
  6. If you are not that adventurous, this is not a recommended activity. 

Thank God we were able to finish the caving and got out of the cave! Yehey! But look at the this? Haha

Then we headed back to Enchanted River where we wanted and we soaked for a swim. We experienced its being enchanted. Indeed the fish are just there as you swim. They are not afraid of people swimming around them, maybe because they are already used to it.

Schools of fish comes out at around 11:30 A.M. and you would have the privilege to watch them swim with you in the cold fresh water of Enchanted River, but if you go there during summer, expect to have a competition with other tourists.  πŸ™‚

After swimming for couple of minutes or in an hour, we decided to have our lunch.

Lunch are pre ordered. Before you go to Enchanted River the tour guide would ask the van to stop at the store/tiangge/palutuan where you would order your food, as there will be no stores or restaurants within Enchanted River vicinity. The establishments' staffs then would deliver the food to the cottages where you would be assigned. The picture above was our candid picture while eating our much-awaited and hungered-for lunch.

Then we traveled to Tinuy-an Falls. We saw the wondrous multi-falls. One of the pride of Surigao del Sur. But when it's summer, the water wouldn't create big splash as it falls, the water wouldn't be as splendid as it is if it's rainy season. But yeah, traveling on a summer is also way sooo fun!

I am sharing some of the photos we were able to take as we witnessed the beauty of Surigao's #Tinuy-an Falls!

  

To see the falls' water source you have to climb. See it for yourself up close! So we climbed up and as we head back down, took some stolen shots!

 Below was the view at the top of the falls! Isn't it amazing?

After our brief visit at Tinuy-an Falls, we went directly to our respective vans and prepared for the travel to the International Doll House. Yes, you've read it right! House built by DOLLS! Some fun photos we took as we entered and checked it out.

After the Doll House visit, we went to have our stomachs filled. Java Travel and Tours were able to reserve us a place where all those who joined the tour will dine. It's an Eat-all-you-can restaurant, at a very cheap price of P99. Not bad. 
Then, we traveled to our dormitories, or places of temporary abode.
The following day, we were asked to prep early for the Island Hopping in Britania, I had a separate post about my previous trip here, but this time is different, I'm with Chef and Engr.!
I am with different company, and yeah, perks of traveling is to meet new good friends! They called us brother (brader) so we called them sister! 
Sharing again, some of the candid and well-prepared (is it?) shots in Britania the next day!
As we went to the entrance of the beach, we saw this funny pictures? Answer to the all-time question "Where do broken hearts go?"

People get busy, and yes, they might not notice the boat will be leaving soon? Are you going to swim as fast as you can to catch up? LOL!

This was a picture we took in one of the Islands in Britania! Such an amazing view!

The Victory POSE!

Selfies and photo-ops everywhere!

While on board!

When you travel, you try different food! This right here, is a must-try! Haha


Of course, if I go on Island Hopping, wouldn't it be amazing if you jump off the boat and swim all your might? haha A fun photo below capturing the experience!

And we saw some people doing, groupfie, why would we not try it?

And we also enjoyed taking photos in cave-like rock formations!

On the bridge going to the boat! Cameras are at work!

You can also go shopping some great items! Things Chef K wants!

And the beach is perfect with the heat of the sun, white sand and friends!

Fun things happen when you take pictures and you didn't know what pose to make! Wacky or formal? Or what?

As we head back home and got nearer to our residences, we stopped and clicked some more for the group to have a souvenir picture with the van and the tour guides!

Thank you new friends! Sisters! Java Travel and Tours and Chef and Engr. for the fun and crazy travel! Had a great time!

Travel Tip for Surigao:
1. Bring some food. It's gonna be a loooong travel!
2. One of the things, I've (We've) observed in Surigao is the need to improve hospitality and service industry! Do not expect everything to be prepared and well organized in establishments, from dorms to restaurants. So I am warning you, bring a lot of patience.
3. It's not as developed as the other places, so you might have to go to certain areas to withdraw some cash. So bring, a considerable amount enough to cover your expenses.
4. Reserve batteries for Cameras, Phones and Gadgets! Power banks! 
5. Slippers are good, don't bring hava! My friend's hava gave up as we climbed up the TinuyAn Falls.
6. Enjoy while it last! Stop complaining! Just enjoy the ride, the trip, the company, the environment!
7. PLEASE DON'T TRHOW YOUR GARBAGE JUST ANYWHERE! PROMOTE ECOTOURISM!
Despite my observations, (honest ones), I still choose Mindanao, because the benefit of knowing and witnessing its splendor outweighs greatly than the things I find noticeably needing improvement. All in all, I still enjoyed the trip and had a blast!
As we head back home, we've already planned the next trip... What is it? Check it out...on my next post...
#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #laagPinas #laagAsia #suroyWorld #SurigaoPH #BritaniaPH #EnchantedRiverPH #TinuyAnFallsPH